At BlueMatch, we often are asked many questions before someone signs up with us to list their home. Some questions are geared towards making the client feel more comfortable. These questions include things like do you live or know my area? or Have you sold a home in my neighborhood? These are the warm and fuzzy questions that make people feel a little at ease but don’t really impact major issues that could arise. In this post, we will cover questions you should ask your Real Estate Agent that can impact your bottom line, keep you out of court, and really help you evaluate the integrity of your potential agent
What happens if we decide we are not a good fit and I want to part ways?
This question in particular can help you avoid some major turbulence if your agent turns out to be something other than what you expected. When you sign a contract to list with an agent, you are legally required to work with them throughout the term of the contract. Some agents offer an out with a price that can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Some agents just wont let you out period. Remember, signing with an agent is a negotiation. Always ask upfront what the scenario looks like if you want out of your contract. Agents can and will take you to court if you violate their terms.
What do you charge in commission and how negotiable is it?
Many agents will automatically charge you market rate and not spend a lot of time going over it with you. Market rate has been close to the same for decades. In Colorado, it tends to range from 2.8% to 3%. Remember, everything is negotiable, especially if you are buying a new home with that agent. Always ask for a drastically reduced commission rate if you are buying a home with the same agent. We typically see .5% to 1% on buy sell transactions where the agent is being used to help the seller find a new home.
What happens if you find an unrepresented buyer?
Unrepresented buyers are a Real Estate agents dream. This is one big reason open houses and Real Estate signs exist. When an agent finds the buyer, they will typically charge a double commission and take both sides of the transaction. when negotiating with your agent, be sure that they can only collect one side of the transaction and one side only. This does two things. The obvious is it saves you money. More importantly, it holds the agent accountable to ensuring they are finding YOU the best deal and not themselves. Agents that are incentivized to earn double commission may not have your best interest at heart.
What exactly is included in your services?
This may seem like a pretty standard question (and it is) but understanding the response is more important than the question itself. Many agents will fill their sales pitch with fluff. It is your job as the consumer the identify the difference between the fluff and substance. With nearly every buyer starting their search online or through a search portal, it is imperative that you know what will and will not effect the sale of your home. Many agents will tout that they will be putting your home on “their site”, host an open house, or print off pretty flyers. While these things are nice, they have been statistically proven to have little or no effect on sale price, speed of sale, or offers in general. Many times these tactics are used to justify high commissions. Things you should look for are quality of photography, transparency in the process, and general expectations.